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2 disposal BBQs that were ‘carelessly and stupidly’ thrown into undergrowth at Alum Bay have been blamed for starting a large 50m x 50m blaze at the beauty spot yesterday evening (Wednesday).

As first reported by Island Echo, fire crews from across the Island were mobilised to the West Wight at just before 18:00 when smoke was reported coming from an area of gorse land near to The Needles Landmark Attraction.

30 firefighters from Freshwater, Newport, Yarmouth, Cowes, East Cowes and Ventnor were all involved in tackling the blaze, which at its height saw 6 appliances, 2 water carriers and the Incident Command Unit on scene. 2 officers were also mobilised to act as a tactical advisor and monitoring officer.

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It’s thought that the heat from the recently-used BBQs set fire to hillside bushes, which quickly spread. Thankfully, the actions of the first crews on scene contained the fire and stopped it spreading to a residential property on the hilltop, into the nearby tourist attraction and into grazing land.

Friends of Freshwater Fire Station have taken to social media to say:

It is so important that these disposable BBQs are used and disposed of sensibly. This foolish action could have cost untold damage and ruined lives. Please people, look after this beautiful island of ours, one small bbq meant 6 fire engines, 2 water carriers, one police unit and 30 firefighters were tied up on this incident today”.

Area Manager Dan Tasker of Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service has praised the quick response of the Island’s crews, who prevented the fire from developing into something much worse.

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Islanders are being advised against the use of disposable BBQs in this hot period, with temperatures reaching and exceeding 30c in some locations – particularly in the West Wight.

For more information about protecting the countryside, visit

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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People are just Thick.


It’s about time these bbqs are banned. Lazy people with no regard for the countryside or beaches. I have no problem with non disposable bbqs, it means people have to dowse them before going home.

Opinions Matter

Totally agree Simon. Should be banned because ignorant people cannot be bothered to dispose of them safely. These types have no regard for wildlife or the countryside.


Yes I think they should maybe be banned in this hot dry weather


wouldn’t stop the morons, there are signs along a lot of beaches about No BBQ, and all you see is Disposable bUBBa debris strewn all over and often out in bins, the sea is closed we get some water and use it! Also dogs and small children are at risk from those who insist on cooking on the sea wall,may be a comfortable height for them but is at GROUND LEVEL for dogs and kids. Also the. council need to put some larger ,portable bins about in summer as many people out stuff in the bins provided they become. full… Read more »

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